Stunning Images of the World From Above Celebrated in Drone Photo Awards 2021

A turtle heading into the sea, a volcanic eruption, and a spectacular sunset feature; bathing hippos to dramatic cityscapes, are some of the best drone photographs of the year.

The international Drone Photo Awards are a celebration of aerial photography.

Drones are in many ways photography’s equivalent of unlocking ‘God mode’ – and the winners of this year’s Drone Photo Awards 2021 have certainly backed up that theory with some incredible aerial shots.

Ever wanted to fly among thousands of pink-footed geese? 

The prize celebrates the best of aerial photography, with Norwegian photographer Terje Kolaas’s image Pink-footed Geese Meeting the Winter named the overall winner. The image, shot in Norway, features geese flying towards Svalbard in the Arctic, with the landscape still covered with snow.

And the entries that caught the attention of the jury? Well, those feature everything from monster waves and volcanic eruptions to buffalo buffets and even a 500-year-old monastery in Moscow.

This seventh edition of the drone photo awards, which is run in conjunction with Italy’s popular Siena International Photo Awards, attracted around 14,000 submissions from over 100 countries worldwide.

The aerial photographs don’t just take in natural wonders, though. 

Along with aerial images of wildlife, the awards recognized photos taken using drone technology in categories such as weddings, nature, urban, sport, and abstract.

Md Tanveer Hassan Rohan’s image shows a colorful harbor in Bangladesh from above. During the pandemic, people used the boats to travel on the River Buriganga – creating a mismatched pattern of water and transport.

Omani photographer Qasim Al Farsi won the Wildlife category with Back to Adventure. The Urban award was won by Russian photographer Sergei Poletaev for his image Metaphorical Statement About City and Winter. The sport was won by Australian photographer Phil De Glanville for Gold at the End of the Rainbow, which captures a rainbow above surfer Ollie Henry.

Fishing in Mangrove Forest by Vietnamese photographer Trung Pham Huy won in the People category, Extragalactic by American photographer Martin Sanchez won the Nature category and Romanian photographer Gheorghe Popa’s image Poisoned River came out on top in the Abstract category. Romantic image Towards the Infinite Together with You by Italian photographer Matteo Original topped the Wedding category and Pakistani-American photographer Adrees Latif won the Storyboard category with Blanketed in Fire Retardant. The video category was won by Greek photographer Nestoras Kechagias for Ice Ballet.

The winners will be showcased in the Above Us Only Sky exhibition, scheduled to take place in Siena, Italy from Saturday, October 23 until Sunday, December 5, as part of the Siena International Photo Awards.

Drone Awards is the most important worldwide competition for aerial photography and video. It’s a project of Siena Awards, dedicated to a different photographic genre deliberately separated from being compared to traditional photography.

The competition is open to aerial photography and videos whose platforms also include fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, balloons, blimps and dirigibles, rockets, kites, and parachutes.

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